So while I was drinking a tea yesterday and watching some TV a weird yet logical thought past through my mind.
What if Sony had an alterative motive and plans for the Playstation 3. We all know that there are two competing High Definition formats for the new DVDs that will be released. Blue-ray and HD-DVD. In their current state, the PS3 is the only console that can play High Definition DVDs (the Xbox 360 requires an additional piece of kit to play HD-DVD).
Betamax vs. VHS – the fight for Video standards took place when Videos were launched. The same is due to take place between Blu-ray and HD-DVD for the industry standard of High Definition DVD.
What I am proposing is that Sony is trying to dominate the market and win the fight via a back door method. Such as, you’re not buying a games console with a DVD play in it, you’re buying a Blu-ray DVD player that can play console games. Yes the PS3 is a funky piece of kit, but it could be so much better for a games console if Sony put the ‘effort’ in (it’s this lack of effort that contributed to my suspicions). If Sony were really serious about the PS3 being a games console then why did they not spend more time getting the rumble feature to work with the motion sensitive controls / why could they not keep their new control designs / why could they not of actually had a proper motion sensitive controls rather than an axis driven one.
My thought is that they weren’t too fussed about the game console part and just wanted to focus on getting as many Blu-ray DVD players into people homes as possible before HD-DVD players became common place. PS3 owners, if you already have a High Definition player (your PS3), it is highly unlikely that you will purchase a HD-DVD player, thereby you will be supporting the Blu-ray format.
For Sony, having the Blu-ray format as the industry standard is worth so much more to them than possibly the fight in the next generation console war. Sure, they may sell a few hundred thousand units less, be loosing money per unit sold, but if Blu-Ray becomes the industry standard, Sony will make back all the lost money through licensing and DVD sales. Not to mention the contracts that they have with the film studios.
In summary, I feel that Sony have seen the launch of the PS3 as an opportunity to get Blu-Ray into people’s home and picked as the industry standard, rather than focusing on a game console.